What makes a vacation an adventure? Is it the novelty of the location, the wanderlust of your companions or the majesty of the attraction? Most experienced travelers will tell you it’s neither.

Instead, it all depends on the eye of the beholder, the attitude of the adventurer. But, visiting a natural wonder will definitely boost your buzz. If you’re itching to get out and explore the world, consider road tripping to either of these destinations to enjoy nature in its purest form.

Motorcycle Road Trip Through The Mountains

Biking the Backcountries of Moab

An outdoor enthusiasts wonderland—Moab is a stunning combination of man-made activities mixed with enchantment-like scenery. It’s home to several National and State Parks, including Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point, and makes a great base for exploring surrounding areas. After a few days trail riding through this gorgeous red rock territory, it’s possible you won’t ever want to leave.

Destination: Dirt Trail

  • Name: Kokopelli’s Trail.
  • Trailhead: Starts across the road from the Dewey Bridge Campground.
  • Difficulty: Great for newer riders, has connections to more technical trails.

This well-marked, graded dirt trail leads you to the Top of the World milepost—a picturesque place where you can enjoy panoramic views of the entire area. More experienced riders can continue on to Rose Garden Hill, Onion Creek Road and Fisher Valley, which will eventually loop you back to Moab.

The Popular Place

  • Name: Slick Rock.
  • Trailhead: Starts at Sand Hills Recreation Area.
  • Difficulty: Experienced riders only, not recommended for beginners.

This 10.5-mile trail is crazy popular among mountain bikers, but it caters to motorcyclists as well. Discover Moab suggests hitting Slickrock early in the week (and early in the morning) to avoid crowds. Doing so will also help you beat the heat, as the area is known for its scorching temperatures.

Even for experienced riders, Moab presents unique challenges such as spotty cell service, primitive singletracks and sporadic temperatures. Additionally, remember you’ll be sharing the track with mountain bikers, ATV riders and four-wheel drivers. Always come prepared with proper equipment, such as your motorcycle helmet, a BLM route map and at least four quarts of water per person.

Hiking Redwood Forest

Yes, you’ll see wildlife, hike along rivers and feel small beneath 300-feet-tall trees, but this western wonder has more to explore than just green groves. Lined with prairies and miles of coastal beaches, the Redwood National and State Parks have something for everyone. There are more than 200 miles of trails in the park, but popular vote suggests you try one of these.

Short & Scenic

  • Hike: Stout Memorial Grove.
  • State Park: Jedediah Smith Redwoods.
  • Trailhead: A paved access road is located on the east end of Howland Hill Road.
  • Distance: .5-mile loop.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy and flat, but requires a descent from the parking lot.

Jedediah Smith State Park boasts some of the most scenic areas of the Redwood Forest, and Stout Grove is often considered to the heart of it. This walkable half-mile loop is a majestic trail filled with mammoth trees that border the Smith River.

Historic Route Ahead

  • Hike: James Irvine Trail.
  • State Park: Prairie Creek Redwoods.
  • Trailhead: Marked at the Prairie Creek Visitor’s Center.
  • Distance: 4.2 miles.
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate but not steep.

This five-hour long hike through Godwood Creek climaxes at the world-famous Fern Canyon and Home Creek. The trail is home to enormous trees and is the historic access route to Gold Bluffs Beach mines and camps. It’s possible to link up with the Miner’s Ridge trail via the Coastal Trail for a strenuous but oh-so-worth-it return trip.

The forest is moist, and trails are often wet and slippery. Remember to pack rain gear and wear sturdy hiking boots with non-slip soles.